Spirit of Britain in pursuit Credit Charles01 Wikipedia Creative Commons

Hopes of an imminent increase in capacity on the Dover-Calais route were dealt a blow yesterday, when the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that the P&O Ferries vessel Spirit of Britain had been detained.

The agency said this was “due to surveyors identifying a number of deficiencies which were grounds for detention”.

A spokesperson added: “We have advised P&O to invite us back once they have addressed the issues. We do not know yet when this will be.”

Another Dover ferry operated by P&O is already detained, following an MCA inspection. In total the agency will inspect safety and security on eight P&O Ferries.

Meanwhile, Pride of Hull (Hull-Rotterdam) and European Causeway (Larne-Cairnryan) have been inspected and cleared to sail, while three other ferries are yet to be inspected.

European Highlander was cleared for a relocation voyage to Larne, but is still to have its full Port State Control inspection.

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